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Cornbread is enjoyable to eat on its own or as an accompaniment to delectable dishes like roasted chicken and barbecued pork ribs. As you enjoy this slightly sweet and crumbly treat, however, your pup might be staring you down with the all-too-familiar look of irresistible begging.
Before you hand over your share in exchange for a wag, you should understand whether cornbread is actually safe for them to eat.
Can Dogs Eat Cornbread?
Yes, cornbread isn’t toxic to dogs so they can eat it. However, because cornbread is loaded with carbohydrates and simple sugars, it is not something that should be a regular part of any dog’s diet. Additionally, you should always check the label of commercially-made cornbread to make sure there are no toxic ingredients like artificial sugars and chemical preservatives.
Potential Hazards To Feeding Cornbread To Dogs
The typical cornbread recipe doesn’t contain any ingredients that are immediately life-threatening to dogs. However, you should still be careful about giving some to your dog.
In particular, here are the most critical health concerns about feeding your dog cornbread:
Cornbread may contain toxic chemicals
Homemade cornbread can be safer because you are aware of all the ingredients but store-bought versions might include preservatives that lengthen its shelf life.
Some manufacturers might also opt to use artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is a known dog poison.
Cornbread contains common allergens
Wheat, eggs, and dairy are some of the most common dog allergies. Some dogs are also allergic to corn and soy. If your dog has allergies, always make sure to check the ingredients of your cornbread before sharing it with your dog.
Cornbread is loaded with calories
Regardless of the absence of allergens and toxic ingredients, cornbread can be harmful to dogs simply because it is a calorie-dense food. If you’re going to give your dog any of it, make sure you account for it in their daily calorie consumption.
Otherwise, they might become obese—a preventable condition that can shorten dogs’ lives by almost two years. Obesity also affects dogs’ quality of life and makes them more susceptible to severe diseases like osteoarthritis and hypertension.
Cornbread is often high in sugar
Apart from calories, cornbread is also high in sugar. Not only does it usually contain some form of simple sugar (e.g., cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup) but also carbohydrates in wheat and corn turn into sugar in the body.
Dogs that consume too much sugar may not only become obese but might also develop canine diabetes.
Cornbread can cause indigestion
Some dogs find it difficult to process food made of flour. Additionally, the corn in cornbread is composed of insoluble fiber that is even harder for your dog to digest.
In large enough quantities, eating cornbread might give your dog indigestion. It might also cause diarrhea, vomiting, and bloat.
Cornbread comes in large portions
Cornbread usually comes in loaves or muffin-sized portions, which are often too large for dogs. If you are to give your dog any cornbread, make sure you do so in portions that are appropriate to their size.
Large pieces can be choking hazards and might also make them more susceptible to indigestion.
Benefits To Feeding Your Dog Cornbread
Although cornbread may be safer for your dog than similar food items you might find at home (for example, a chocolate chip muffin) since it typically doesn’t contain toxic ingredients, it is still not a good food to feed your dog.
The downsides to feeding your dog cornbread far outweigh any small benefit the food can provide. Additionally, there are way better human foods that you can feed your dog that are safer and healthier than cornbread.
Best Way To Feed Cornbread To Cogs
Because cornbread is relatively safe but not a particularly healthy food option, it is always best to limit your dog’s consumption of it.
Always give cornbread in small portions and do so infrequently so it doesn’t contribute to your dog’s risk for diabetes, obesity, and similarly serious diseases.
Pet-Safe Alternatives To Cornbread
If you’re really keen on sharing your love for cornbread with your dog, the best thing to do is to make them their own version of these special treats.
Cornbread for dogs should be made completely of pet-safe ingredients. Additionally, they should be easy to digest and low in sugar. They should also be appropriately-sized portions to minimize the risk of overeating as well as choking.
Here’s a simple yet tail-wagging version of cornbread that you can make for your dog:
Homemade Cornbread Dog Treats Recipe
- 1 cup Cornmeal
- 1 cup Quick-cooking oats
- 3/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- In a large bowl, pour all the ingredients and stir until well combined and looking like well-formed dough.
- Divide the dough into 20 equal parts (Note: You can try smaller or larger pieces, depending on the size of your dog).
- Roll each portion into balls and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the sheet of balls in a preheated oven set to 350℉.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the balls from the oven, flip each one, and place the tray back inside to bake for another 10 minutes.
- Once done, let the cornbread dog treats cool on the baking sheet.
- Once cooled, place the treats in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature.
- For longer storage, place balls in the freezer and thaw only a few pieces at a time.
If your dog gets at cornbread that was meant for you, there’s no need to panic. The first thing you should do is check the label. Ensure that there are no ingredients that are toxic to dogs or that they are allergic to. Take your dog to the vet if there are any suspicious contents.
But once you’re sure the cornbread is made using pet-safe ingredients, there’s no harm in treating your dog with a small piece once in a blue moon. The best thing to do, however, is to make them their own version of cornbread so you don’t have to worry about the impact on their health.